When metal meets water, bad things can happen–with the metal usually getting the worst of the bargain. Nowadays stainless steels are most often used when the nasty cocktail of salts and natural ability of water to corrode need to be fought; but before there was stainless steel, bronze (a copper-tin alloy) was what kept ships proof against the sea (and even today, ship’s propellers and many underwater fittings are often made of it.)
It’s a perfect match for a watch that hearkens back to the earliest days of the first purpose made diver’s watches. Panerai began as an instrument maker to the Italian Navy, and its Radiomir and Luminor dive watches are considered fashion and design icons today, but ironically they started out as pure tool watches–which just goes to show you, when form follows function, fashion’s not far behind. The Panerai Luminor 8 Day Bronzo has the unimistakable, golden but smoky shimmer of pure bronze, and as it’s used will acquire a patina that both shields it against corrosion and gives it a look that makes each one unique. The classic Luminor crown guard is also made of bronze and for this special edition, Panerai’s outfitted the dial in green livery that perfectly complements the unflinchingly practical but exotically beautiful case material.
Chose by sculptors through the ages for its beauty and durability, Panerai now brings bronze to one of 2011’s most stand-out, drop-dead gorgeous dive watches. The caseback in transparent sapphire reveals an in-house 3 day movement, and the ring securing it is in hypoallergenic titanium (after all patina belongs on the watch, not on your wrist.) With echoes of marine adventure ancient and modern, the Luminor 8 day Bronzo is the perfect symbol of, and companion to, the Life Aquatic.
Reference PAM00382 in bronze; 47mm diameter; sapphire display back with titanium retaining ring. Water resistant to 300 meters; one-way rotating timing bezel with one-minute calibration. Movement in-house Panerai automatic caliber P9000 with 3 day power reserve.panerai
Jack Forster is the Editor in Chief of Revolution Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating the world of fine watchmaking, and he also manages Revolution Online www.revo-online.com the foremost information and discussion site on the internet for watch enthusiasts.